Lawmakers: Close to $1.3T spending bill to avoid shutdown

March 21 (UPI) — Lawmakers say they are close to agreement on a $ 1.3 trillion spending package to fund the government through September and avoid another government shutdown this weekend.

“We’re finalizing the details and I feel like we’re in a very good place,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday, adding the final omnibus package would be released “very soon.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the spending deal is imminent.

“We’re feeling very good about this,” he said. “We’ve accomplished many, many, many of our goals. When it’s unveiled, you will see..”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said negotiators on the omnibus bill made “good progress.”

“I think that we’re going to present to our members something that they can comfortably support,” she said.

Included in the omnibus package will be $ 380 million in election technology grants to secure digital systems involved in U.S. elections. An additional $ 307 million will be granted for FBI counterintelligence efforts against Russian cyberattacks.

Republicans and Democrats struck preliminary agreements Wednesday about major points of contention in the funding bill, which has been the subject of negotiations for days.

Funding for the government runs out Friday. If Congress doesn’t agree to the omnibus bill before then, it would usher in another government shutdown.

The bill also includes aspending increase on opioid treatment, prevention and research by nearly $ 3 billion. Infrastructure spending would increase by $ 10 billion, while another $ 1.6 billion would go toward new border security funding — mainly geared toward technology.

Military funding will be increased by $ 61 billion, including pay increases for service members.

The omnibus package, however, does not cut funding for women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood or pull money from so-called sanctuary cities — two areas the Trump administration has threatened to pull money from.

Funding will also be provided for the Gateway Project, a $ 900 million rail proposal under the Hudson River in New York. President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the spending bill if it is included.

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